Winter Storm Jonas: Parker scores 29 as Patriots blast Otter Valley
BENNINGTON >> In the first quarter of its game on Friday night against Otter Valley, it looked like the Mount Anthony boys basketball team was sluggish, without a lot of energy.
Just like the winter storm smashing the Mid-Atlantic coast with the same first name, Jonas Parker and the Patriots picked up steam and dumped the Otters with an 83-36 defeat at Kates Gym.
"It was like a storm that took over," said Mount Anthony coach Dan Sleeman. "It wasn't an adjustment or anything, just in the huddle, several guys saying, we have to pick it up. It wasn't taking a press on or off or a three-quarter trap, none of that."
Parker led all scorers with 29 points, including seven or eight slams. Many of those came in the second quarter as the Patriots started to get out better in transition, when Parker scored 16 out of his total.
"It was literally like a light switch, the intensity wasn't there and we talked about that in the huddle," Sleeman said.
Starting the second quarter, Otter Valley's Tyler Allen hit a shot to give the Otters a 17-10 lead, but that would be the only basket of the entire frame as MAU started to roll.
"We needed to step [our defense] up," Parker said. "After the first quarter, we got into the huddle and we did what we had to do to win."
They tied it a couple minutes later at 17-17 and took a 19-17 lead with 4:12 left in the half before exploding for 22 unanswered points in the final four minutes for a 31-1 run between the first and second quarters.
"In the second quarter, I said we have to get the ball inside," Sleeman said. "The early threes in the first quarter weren't from paint touches. Then the paint game opens up the perimeter. I was more impressed with the defensive pressure. I had a good feeling going into the huddle, there was no yelling or getting in their face, they knew that wasn't us."
The only other point for Otter Valley was a free throw on a technical foul by Jonas for hanging on the rim after one of the jams.
"When I dunk it like that, it's a lot of momentum," Parker said. "I didn't think it deserved a technical, but they called it."
Sleeman said he wasn't happy with the technical foul, but the energy with the crowd was great.
"We have to learn to not be flashy, when you have two points, you need to get the two points," Sleeman said. "I like the defensive pressure and trapping for the energy."
Mount Anthony came out in the third still soaring as Parker made a steal and went in for a slam in the first 15 seconds.
He had eight in the quarter, but the rest of his teammates came through as well, with Tyler Champagne scoring seven of his 13 in the frame and Josh Parker scoring six of his 10.
"[The brothers] know where each other is, they compliment each other," Sleeman said. "Josh is giving us solid minutes at key times."
Both teams played their reserves in the fourth, with Ryan O'Neill scoring six points on a pair of threes and Nick Armstrong added seven points in the final quarter.
"Those guys play solid minutes, they're not sloppy and they stay within what we're trying to do," Sleeman said.
Sleeman was happy that the team snapped out of its funk with Rutland coming up on Tuesday.
"This could be the first time playing not excited because of who the opponent is," Sleeman said. "Sometimes, that can go on for 32 minutes, but we put that to rest. The lesson to learn is the first round of playoffs can be similar to that, but upsets happen. We have to do it from jump ball."
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.